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Related to Stares: steers


v. stared, star·ing, stares
To look directly, fixedly, or vacantly, often with a wide-eyed gaze. See Synonyms at gaze.
To look at directly and fixedly: stared him in the eyes.
An intent gaze.
Phrasal Verb:
stare down
1. To stare at (a person or animal) until that person or animal blinks or turns away.
2. To confront boldly or overcome by direct action: stared down his opponents.
stare in the face
1. To be plainly visible or obvious to (one); force itself on (one's) attention: The money on the table was staring her in the face.
2. To be obvious to (one) though initially overlooked: The explanation had been staring him in the face all along.
3. To be imminent or unavoidable to (one): Bankruptcy now stares us in the face.
4. To be about to experience or undergo (something dire): We are staring bankruptcy in the face.

[Middle English staren, from Old English starian; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

star′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. Dug his blue eyes into me, like nails —Jay Parini
  2. (I’ve been feeling your) eyes boring into me like a pair of yellow jackets. She had a curiously intense stare, like a greedy child waiting for sweets —Beryl Bainbridge
  3. Stared at each other quietly, like enemies —Robert Campbell
  4. Stared at him, holding him, like the high point on a compass —Richard Ford
  5. Stared at [a question] keenly as if it were a fly that he was waiting to swat when it came round again —V.S. Pritchett

    See Also: SCRUTINY

  6. Stared at me like blocks of wood —Donald Justice
  7. Stared blankly at me like a dead fish —Joe Coomer
  8. (Had no expression in his gray eyes. He) stared like a cat at an empty window —Bill Granger
  9. Stared … with the intensity of a man having a private audience with an angel —James Morrow
  10. Stares at me like I’m dirt he intends to one day wipe off his shoes —Robert Campbell

    See Also: CONTEMPT

  11. Stares at my idea like a crystal vase suspended in his mind’s rare ether —Richard Ford
  12. (Powell’s) stare seemed to pinch her like a pair of tongs —Flannery O’Connor
  13. (Stood there) staring at him like a stunned ox —Oakley Hall
  14. Staring at me with a studied air, as though measuring me —Kent Nelson
  15. Staring into his face like a devotee before an idol —Elizabeth Spencer
  16. Staring like rustics at a fair —Henry James
  17. A way … of staring at the wall or at the window like a detective at a murder scene, desperate for clues —Clive Barker
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"I'll tell you why you came here myself: you see, I don't give you your wages, you are so proud you don't want to bow down and ask for it, and so you come to punish me with your stupid stares, to worry me and you have no sus...pic...ion how stupid it is--stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid!
"She stares at me so that she makes me feel queer."
Blinds, shutters, curtains, awnings, were all closed and drawn to keep out the stare. Grant it but a chink or keyhole, and it shot in like a white-hot arrow.
Almost imperceptibly the eyes settled into a watching that was like to the stony stare of a sphinx across aching and eternal desert sands.
He came round with a start, and staggered back a few paces to stare at me.
I could almost feel on me the weight of his unrefreshed, motionless stare, the stare of a man who lies unwinking in the dark, angrily passive in the toils of disastrous thoughts.
However, she held up and tried to stare back, but in a feeble kind of way.
Trotter's rooms should stare so at me, this evening?
In a moment Strickland looked away and idly surveyed the ceiling, but she continued to stare at him, and now her look was quite inexplicable.
But the people in the street, seeing a wooden Marionette running like the wind, stood still to stare and to laugh until they cried.
When Mr Verloc returned to sit in his place, like the very embodiment of silence, the character of Mrs Verloc's stare underwent a subtle change, and Stevie ceased to fidget with his feet, because of his great and awed regard for his sister's husband.
Their two great symbols are the sun and the open eye; for they say that if a man were really healthy he could stare at the sun."